We are halfway through February which means most people’s New Year’s resolutions have long been dead and buried. This was the fate of every resolution I ever made prior to this year. But this year is different because this year I have a plan.
At work we have to set goals for the year and the process we use requires us to set check points for these goals. So you have your goal for the year – maybe it’s something like “Sell 500 widgets”. Sure, you can toss that out into the universe and hope those widgets sell themselves, or you can break that main goal into smaller pieces. Like “work on my sales pitch” or “find three new clients by August” or “convince current client they need 100 more widgets”. (These are terrible examples; I clearly do not sell things for a living.)
The point is, it’s a lot easier to accomplish one small task at a time than it is to take on your giant goal all at once. So I took this strategy and applied it to my personal goals. I wrote down my top goals for the year and then brainstormed easy first steps I could take to help those goals come to fruition. I decided to tackle things quarterly, so I gave myself a handful of tasks to complete in Q1.
For example, one of my goals this year was to learn basic photography so I don’t spend tons of money getting my kid’s pictures professionally taken all the time. So my first checkpoint was “research cameras”. Then “research photography lessons”. Then “buy the camera”. If I hadn’t already had some money set aside I would have added “save up for camera” in here as well. Using this strategy I feel like I am always making progress toward my bigger goals without ever feeling overwhelmed.
Some other tips to help you succeed with this:
- Assign dates to your checkpoints. Put them in your calendar and set reminders so you don’t forget about them.
- Make sure your checkpoint goals are small enough to be easily achievable. If your checkpoint goal feels daunting or you keep putting it off try breaking it into a smaller goal.
- If you consistently are putting off tasks that work toward your overall goal, ask yourself if that goal is something you actually WANT to achieve or something you feel like you are obligated to achieve. If it feels like an obligation, ditch it. It’s 2019, we only do things that spark joy now. #mariekondovibes
- Check in with yourself regularly to review your goals and what’s left to accomplish and keep putting those checkpoints on your calendar.
What are you hoping to accomplish this year? What steps are you taking help you get there?